Thursday, April 30, 2015

4/30/15 - Dear Blackbird, Part 4

Seven years ago today, your mommies went on their first date. 
We had known each other for a year as friends, but on April 30th we went on an official date and I started falling in love.

I want you to know how special your Mama is. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I feel so lucky to have her as my wife. She gives me a reason to laugh and smile everyday and she is the best partner in life I could have asked for. She gives me hugs and kisses, occasional Sprinkles cupcakes and endless amounts of love.

And she gave me you.

I can't wait for you to see how much your mommies love each other and how much we love you.

your mommies

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

4/29/15 - Week 29: Cabbage

Today the baby is the size of...

(Frankie wasn't too thrilled with this cabbage stealing his spotlight!)

I can't believe Blackbird weighs almost 3 pounds already.
But even crazier is knowing that in only 11 weeks, he will DOUBLE OR TRIPLE his weight!

Good god I better brace myself for this one!

He is getting close to his birth length but will start filling out now.

Starting this week, he will start doing some big movements. And I think it's already begun! This morning while I was eating breakfast, he must have kicked his legs around and my belly moved from one side to the other and it looked like a scene straight out of ALIEN!

He especially enjoys kicking around my belly button.
Which is the strangest feeling ever.
You know the feeling you get when you stick your finger in your own belly button?
Imagine that feeling coming from the INSIDE!
Apparently, this is a classic move that I used to do to my mom when she was pregnant, so I guess payback's a bitch!

There are no more questions like, "Is he still in there?" 
He makes his presence known every day and I love him so much!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

4/26/15 - Big Brother

This weekend we went to Santa Barbara to visit our uncle and we had a wonderful time.  It was so relaxing and despite some morning rain, we were able to squeeze in a beach walk.

I love walking on the beach (my favorite place) and thinking about bringing Blackbird there one day. Teaching him about the waves and the sand and the ships and the fish and the seaweed.... it will be so exciting.

Then we went back for an afternoon nap and Frankie wanted it to be known that this baby is his little brother!

I love when he snuggles up to Blackbird and my belly.

Then today it was time to come home and take another baby bump photo!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

4/23/15 - The Inevitable WEIGHT GAIN

Today we had another doctor's visit and after the combination of getting stuck in traffic plus a miscommunication with the lab, the last thing I wanted to do was step on the scale and be weighed.

Somehow, I gained 6 pounds in 3 weeks.  Now I know everyone is different and all women's bodies will gain weight at different rates and in different increments. 

I was under the impression that around a pound per week is healthy, as is gaining a total of 25-35 pounds throughout the entire pregnancy.

Well, I know you're nosey and would like to know that I've gained about 20 pounds now and am 7 months along. 
(I can hear some of you women screaming.)
Trust me, I know I am lucky.  I have always been tall and thin and my body type isn't made to gain a TON of weight during a pregnancy.  Some women gain 60-80 pounds during pregnancy and others gain nothing at all:

P.S. She's 9 months pregnant in this photo.

I think I got the number in my head of 25 total pounds and realized that I will clearly gain more than 5 pounds in the next three months.  I've also never weighed this much in my whole life, so seeing that number on the scale can be jarring.

Thus begins the mini-breakdown.  I'm trying to be healthy and not go crazy, but I'm also not going to eat lettuce for nine months.  I like my dessert and my cookies and so does my baby goddamnit!

I am trying to enjoy this pregnancy. 
It's my first.  I've wanted this my entire life. 
I'm not eating ice cream every day but sometimes I need a sweet taste after dinner and I don't want to feel f&^%ing guilty about that!  I don't want to go crazy about this and look back and say, "I wish I didn't worry about that so much and had those few extra cookies."

I'm also looking in the mirror and am worried about where the heck this little boy is going to grow!  I feel like I'm running out of room and just started the third trimester.

So, I spoke to the doctor about my concerns, and he is completely not worried about my weight at all.  He said that 25-35 is a ballpark for my frame and size and that I am healthy and the baby is right on track for where he should be.  I should keep trying to get a little exercise by walking 4x per week, but I am not supposed to go crazy and join a gym and do activities that I wasn't already doing.

I want what is best for this baby.  If the doctor says I'm healthy and the baby is healthy, nothing else matters. I love this little boy so much.  If I had to gain 100 pounds and be on bed rest for 6 months for him to be healthy, that's exactly what I would do.

And if the doctor isn't worried, I shouldn't be worried either, right?

Why does our society make us feel like we have to stay thin when we are GROWING A HUMAN BEING?

Why are all pregnant women judged after they give birth if THEIR BODIES DON'T RETURN TO THEIR PRE-PREGNANCY SIZE WITHIN 24 HOURS?

And why do complete strangers feel like they have the right to comment on the size of my belly? 
I'm obviously pregnant.  You don't need to tell me that my belly "looks big" or that he's "gonna be a big baby" or "ARE YOU SURE IT'S NOT TWINS?"

Yes I'm f&^%ing sure it's not twins!  Leave me alone! 
My body, my baby, my business, bitch!

So here's to all the pregnant ladies, the ladies who are trying to conceive, and the ladies who are already mamas:
Listen to your doctor.
Eat healthy, get some exercise, but don't forget to enjoy this time.  You are growing a human and it's a miracle every single day.
Don't feel guilty.
Pass the cookies.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

4/22/15 - Week 28: Cauliflower

Today the baby is the size of...

Holy third trimester, Batman!

For the third trimester, we have retired the softball to the nursery for Blackbird to play with one day soon. We will now be comparing how big he is to... 
His very own big brother, Frankie!

(This was the largest cauliflower we could find, but he's bigger than this!)

This week marks the start of the last trimester. I can't believe I have only three more months to go.

Blackbird has been moving around like crazy and might even start hiccuping now! If I feel rhythmic movements, that could be him hiccuping to get his diaphragm in shape. He is also starting to have REM sleep which means he can DREAM!

Big news this week (which made me cry, but what else is new): if he were born today, he has a 90% chance of survival.

I've realized that the closer I get to his due date, the more I worry about him coming early. It made me feel so good knowing if God forbid he came real early, chances are he would be just fine in the long run. His lungs are developed enough that he would be ok with lots of medical help, but ok nonetheless.

As he and I journey into our last trimester, I have some fun things to look forward to.
- Sleepless nights - which have already started because it's becoming more difficult to get comfortable.

- Braxton Hicks contractions - as my body gets ready for labor.

- Shortness of breath - it's already hard for me to walk for a while without needing a break. Everything takes a little longer these days.

- Leaky boobs - because, why not?!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

4/19/15 - Swedish Hell

At some point in all of this baby craziness, you end up in Swedish hell.

I've been there several times in my life but never while pregnant.
It was time.
We needed a dresser, bookcase and some other miscellaneous items for Blackbird's nursery.
So off we go.
On a Sunday.

Whenever couples go to IKEA, they fight.
It's inevitable.
Between the crowds, the smell of Swedish meatballs in the air and the overwhelming sight of that warehouse, it just happens.
My wife and I are aware of this fact. And we get kind of excited. We wonder where the fight will be!
Kitchen section?
Or save it all for the warehouse?

We had a list (of course, do you know me?) and we made it through the store in 40 minutes with everything on our list (never happens). We stood in line and I realized, we haven't fought yet!

Then we hit the parking lot.
It was in the 80s. In the valley. With no shade.
Julia got the car and backed it in so she could load everything in the back. I can't lift anything so I wasn't much help.
We didn't necessarily "fight" but when she clipped my leg with her long warehouse cart, we were approaching the danger zone!

Living in the danger zone was a woman who literally ran into me with her cart. 
Like really?! 
Do you not see this belly?

So luckily we made it home all in one piece and both in the same car. 
(Once we went to IKEA and after we finally got everything piled into my RAV4, there was no room for Julia to sit. So I drove home, grabbed her car and went back to pick her up. Whoops! Saved $99 on delivery though!)

But coming home to this adorable big brother made the IKEA worries disappear.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

4/15/15 - Week 27: Cucumber

Today the baby is the size of...

A cucumber might sound small but look at that compared to the softball!  
He is 15" long and this cucumber is exactly 15" long!

Last week he was just over 9" long.
Did he grow 6" in one week?!
Luckily for my body's sake, he did not.

Up until this point, our baby Blackbird was being measured from head to rump. 
Well, this week starts the official head to toe measurements!

I think I was around 21" long when I was born, so he is getting closer to newborn length.

This is also the last week of my second trimester. I'm almost two thirds through this pregnancy and I can't believe it. Where did that time go?

Sometimes if it's been a little while since I've felt him move, I put my hand on my belly and think, "Ok Blackbird, let me know that you're doing alright." 
And he kicks back. 
This little boy and I are connected. He makes me feel so special to be part of this bond that started with his Mama, Julia.

Before we know it, he will be here and we absolutely can't wait.
(But seriously, just let it be in JULY!)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

4/14/15 - Pediatricians

Today we got to interview a prospective pediatrician for our baby boy.
Because that's what you do now.

You make appointments to see pediatricians and then you interview them so you know which one is right for you.  I'm guessing about 30 years ago, you went with whomever was easiest / in your area / the one your OB recommended.

Today, we interview.

And sometimes you even have to PAY for that interview.
What a racket.

Julia and I got to the doctor's office and were one of about 6 couples who were scheduled for a meet and greet with the doctor.  He went over things about how their practice runs, other doctors in the practice, after hours and weekend appointments, etc and we ended with a Q&A session and a tour of the office.

This particular doctor is from the east coast (just like us) and he believes in running on time.  He said you will not wait more than 15 minutes to be seen.  The waiting room had toys and books for kids to play with and a huge fish tank built into the wall.  There were also "well" and "sick" entrances and if your child is sick, you are guaranteed to be seen that same day.

I asked questions about immunizations (such as the measles) and was happy to hear that they only allow vaccinated children in the practice.  They strongly believe in vaccines and immunizing children according to a standard schedule throughout the first few years of life.

They also have a lab on the premises and can get a variety of test results within MINUTES.

All in all, he was very friendly and could joke around.  He guaranteed that you can ask him a million questions during your visits and you'll never feel rushed (which was big for me because I always have questions)!  And we just got a good vibe from him and the rest of the office.

So, despite HAVING TO PAY FOR THIS INTERVIEW, we found our pediatrician!
I'm so excited to have one more thing crossed off our list!

Blackbird says, "Thumbs up, Moms!  Can't wait to meet the guy!"

Sunday, April 12, 2015

4/12/15 - Ojai Babymoon

This weekend we went to Ojai for a mini babymoon.  We want to try and plan as many mini getaways as we can before we never are able to sleep again, and this weekend was perfect.

We arrived late Friday night and got into our pajamas to watch some House of Cards in bed with the fireplace on!  It was absolutely lovely.

Then with me laying on my side, Julia read Blackbird his first book.

Well, he loved it!  He started moving around like crazy!

Then on Saturday morning, we woke up to this amazing view on our balcony.

The mountains looked incredible and we love the Spanish style so much.

Finally, we are off to breakfast.
Of course I wanted everything from the menu, but settled for this delicious dish.

I can never have enough ketchup!

After breakfast, we went back to our room and read on the balcony for a little.  Then it was time to hit the pool!

It was a bit crowded at the adult pool, but Julia found us some seats.  Sadly they were right in the sun.  Sunbathing and pregnancy don't mix and I soon realized this.  I can't let my body temperature get too hot (you also can't take hot baths), so what I imagined as a pool day quickly became unrealistic.

Until some people with chairs in the SHADE decided to leave.  My wife swooped in like a hawk and grabbed us great seats with this beautiful view.

And then of course it was time to take a selfie.

My wife captioned this "Where in the world is Carmen San Di-pregnant?".  
Yes, a terrible pun, but I love terrible puns!

We looked a few chairs down and realized that Giada De Laurentiis was there at the Ojai pool!  

All we could think of is, we own her frying pans!
We also own them because she's pretty damn hot, but they are in fact good pans!

By now we have worked up an appetite so my wife had a few drinks and we ordered lunch.

An amazing chicken salad delivered right to my pool chair on a breakfast-in-bed type tray.  

After all of this relaxing, eating and celebrity sighting, it was time for our massages!

I had my first prenatal massage and when I walked into the massage room and there was a FIREPLACE, I knew I was in good hands.  This type of massage is done on your side since we pregnant broads aren't allowed to be on our backs anymore.  So you get one side done and then halfway through you switch to your other side.
It was lovely and I'm debating hiring a masseuse to move in with us...

Now feeling extremely relaxed, there was one thing we wanted:

Good thing I passed my glucose diabetes test!
This was so f*&%ing good I couldn't stand it.
Here I am, mid-roast:

And the finished product:

Um, yeah.
That's what I'm talking about!

While we dined on s'mores (before dinner of course because we are adults and can make decisions like that!), we also waited for the PINK MOMENT.

I know that sounds like something sexual, but GET YOUR MINDS OUT OF THE GUTTER!

The pink moment lasts only a few minutes and is right at sunset.

When the sun sets in the west, it creates an incredible shade of pink on the eastern mountains in Ojai.  Saturday's pink moment wasn't the best we have seen, but here is the idea.

And that led into this a few minutes later.

We walked around to try and get some of that sugar out of us (which Blackbird LOVED!) and we found adorable courtyards and Spanish tiles on the property before we turned in for the night.

Sunday morning's view was also gorgeous and despite eating several s'mores the night before, it was time to satisfy a craving: 

They were incredible.  
Fresh strawberries inside of the pancake batter..... I can't even look at this picture without wanting them again!  I can't even remember the last time I had pancakes!

Just as we were finishing breakfast, this adorable bird came to send us on our way.

He was blue and white, but maybe a blackbird sent him over to say goodbye.

We had such a relaxing weekend together.  It was so fun to sit on our balcony or by the pool and read books and hold hands and talk.  

The biggest adventure of our entire lives will start in about 3 months.
Our next big chapter.
I can't imagine being on this adventure with anyone else.  I'm so lucky to have my wife, my best friend by my side.
And soon we will have a little boy right here along with us.

Friday, April 10, 2015

4/10/15 - Birth & Baby Classes

Now-a-days, you don't just have a baby.
You have to educate yourself on how the f*&% that beautiful watermelon-sized being comes out of you.

There are childbirth classes.
And there are baby care classes.
And there are pediatric CPR classes.
Plus many, many more.


What did women do when there were NO classes?!
I'm guessing that's when it really took a village and they learned from other women and their experiences.

Well today, we have classes.

I have now successfully signed us up for...




We are going to take our childbirth class at a different hospital than the one where we will deliver because they had no room left at our hospital!  And we have 14 weeks still until this baby comes (god willing).  Maybe I should have signed up when that pregnancy test had 2 lines on it!  Jesus!

You can take all of these classes through the hospital or through private facilities.  The private facilities were more expensive, so because we will have two doulas helping us (during and after the birth), we opted for the hospital childbirth class.  We then enrolled in the baby care and CPR classes at a private facility.

Trying to organize all of these classes was stressful for sure.  Especially when both you and your spouse work and can't make 6pm classes for 5 Wednesdays in a row!  I mean who can do that anyway?!

(This lady can.)

More updates to come once these classes start in May/June.
I'm sure they will be eye-opening to say the least!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

4/9/15: Dear Blackbird, Part 3

My dear sweet baby boy.

This morning I was driving to work and saw a window washer cleaning the windows on the top floor of a tall building.  I sat there at a red light and watched as the water went all the way up the hose to help clean the window.

All I could think about was you. I can't wait to be able to show you all of these neat things in the world. I want to show you how things work and watch your little face light up. I want to take things apart with you and put them back together and show you how to fix things with all of my many tools!

The world has a lot to offer. And I'll be right by your side to hold your hand all the way through.
(Or until the elementary/middle school years when that's not cool anymore.)

I love you, my sweetie.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

4/8/15 - Week 26: Eggplant

Today the baby is the size of...

He already weighs two pounds!  Look how big he is!

This week is a big milestone for him because he starts to open his eyes and blink. I assumed babies kept their eyes closed in there, but nope! He will start looking around and is able to suck his thumb, clasp his hands and touch his toes.

Also this week, the tiny teeth buds are forming for his permanent teeth. 
Isn't that wild?! It's still hard to believe all of this is happening in there.

Just over three months to go!

So today I asked my lovely wife to come home with the eggplant pictured above.  
She also came home with this:

There's baby clothes shopping at Whole Foods for you.  

Now I'm all about sweatshop free factories and things to save the environment.
But I've never seen a sticker that says "Knit in a WIND powered factory".

I mean really?!

But they are some adorable, organic hippie socks!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

4/5/15 - Happy Easter Bump!

Today I decided what better way to spend my Easter than to go to a torture... I mean YOGA class!
Some classes were canceled because of the holiday, but no matter how many times I checked the schedule, my prenatal class was still on.

So I got ready and arrived at the class about ten minutes early.

I walked up to door and it was LOCKED.
I was the only one there and I thought, "Oh isn't this great! I drive myself all the way over here and they're not even open!"

Then another girl shows up.  And another one.  And then about five more.
So now there are a bunch of pregnant chicks standing in the warm sun outside of the studio.

I'd just started the five minute countdown to throwing in the mat, when a Prius arrives and double parks.

The yoga teacher walks out and says, "Oh, hi.  It's been a horrible morning."
I'm like, "Well no shit, you're late!!!"

Then she proceeds to say that she doesn't have the KEYS to the STUDIO.  So I'm about to turn around and go back to my car, when she remembers there is a lockbox with studio keys in it.  After trying a few of them, the door opens and we are all inside.

As soon as we get into the room, one of the pregnant chicks starts talking to me.  She had just mentioned that she is 31 weeks into her pregnancy.

Then she turns to me and says, "How far are you?  You must be close!"
"No.  I'm 25 weeks," I reply.
She said, "Oh, I didn't mean to say that!  I'm so sorry!"
I guess my all black slimming yoga outfit didn't do the trick!

Finally class starts (a good ten minutes late) and we sit down and do our introductions with our name, what week we are on, blah blah blah.

I said my name and that I was 25 weeks and feeling fine.
Like, let's move on and start this damn class!

Well, the chick next to me introduces herself and says she is 39 weeks.
I look at her baby bump.
Thanks.  So glad you sat down next to me.

When the support group session is finally over, we start the yoga class.  Throughout the class we did so many freaking PLANKS, it was unbelievable.

During one set of planks, I look over at Miss 39 Weeks and see that SHE DOES A FREAKING PUSH-UP DURING HER PLANK.

Are you f*&%ing kidding me?!
I wanted to lift her shirt up and see if she was even pregnant!
I mean COME ON.
What's in there?

Despite this torture session, we had a pretty nice day and here is my Easter bump!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

4/2/15 - The Glucose Test

Oh boy here we go...
The glucose test is generally performed between weeks 25 and 28 of pregnancy to measure how your body processes sugar. All of this is to test for gestational diabetes, which is a type of diabetes that some women develop only while pregnant.

So I had to go to the doctor and drink an orange flavored bottle of PURE SUGAR within five minutes. Then I had to get my blood drawn exactly one hour after that.

Here's the infamous drink:

First sip reaction
It tasted like kool aid mixed with five pounds of sugar. Some say it tastes like orange Gatorade, which could be true if it were super concentrated and again mixed with five pounds of sugar.

Half way through reaction
I'm nauseous. Drinking this much sugar in a bottle might sound sweet and exciting but it's now BURNING MY THROAT!

Finally, I'm finished with seconds to spare.

While I waited the hour until I had to get my blood drawn, we had another doctor's visit. 
And we got to see our baby boy!

Look at that cute little nose!!!

He was moving all around during this ultrasound because he was getting all that SUGAR!!! We even saw him open and close his mouth a few times!

The doctor said his growth is right on track. Not too big and not too small. He measures perfect for week 25!  In the next few weeks he will be the most active during the entire pregnancy.  He already kicked so much today!

And it's still early but for now his head is down and his legs are up. They said usually breech babies stay in that position the whole time. So hopefully he keeps his head down until July!

Can't wait to kiss those cheeks!

Afternoon update
I passed the glucose test! 
No diabetes for me!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

4/1/15 - Week 25: Turnip

Today the baby is the size of...

(It was hard to find a huge turnip, so he's definitely bigger than this!)

That's no April foolin'!
This little boy is 9" long!

This week his lungs start producing surfactant and are beginning the process of getting ready to breathe air for the first time. Also, his nostrils used to be sealed shut but now they are opening as another way for him to practice breathing while inside the womb!

All of these fascinating things are happening to our baby Blackbird. We love him so much!

And this week, apparently my uterus is the size of:

Um, what?!